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one week later….

so it’s been a whole week since i blogged.
that’s a long time!
craig said “soooo… are you EVER going to blog again?”
to which i turned and unleashed a long string of LEAVE ME ALONE!!! I AM BUSY! HOW DARE YOU’s on him like a sweet wife does when called out on her slacking.

let’s see… this past week has been bonkers with activities.
just like at your house i assume.
i schedule appointments for each of my kids in december (eye dr…dentisit… etc) and then we do their christmas shopping for their siblings afterwards.
one on one.
we started this a few years
half of the fun for them is the lunch stop i think!
in the past 9 days I’ve eaten at chipotle 4 times and Chili’s once.
it’s really sweet to watch them shop trying to decide what their sisters or brothers would like… within their budget.
we do a “matching” program (in a way).  i pay for it all and then they pay me back most (70-ish%) of it.
i don’t make them pay it all back to me because i like their big hearts and wanting to get nice(r) gifts for people they spend most days fighting with.
it gives me hope.
maybe they will like each other when they grow up??


ever since annie was home sick on thanksgiving break we have been recording The Price Is Right on the dvr.
she comes home from school and watches it.
it’s such a clean show! (other than the dresses on the lady models….)
and i may or may not get teary eyes when they win the big showcase and they seem like they may pass out.
did you know there is even a MALE model on the show now?!
i think you should watch over christmas break.
bring back all the old memories of summer and being a kid in the 80’s!



my girlfriends and i ran in the jingle bell run again this year!
every year we try to think of reasons not to do it but honestly… the spa time afterwards makes any race worth it.
this year i ran the whole thing!
last year i did too but that was purely to stay warm because last year it was 3 degrees!
this year was cold but not like that.
and you would think i would be on an excerise high from doing so well in the run (not because of speed but because of not walking) but you would be wrong in that thinking!
i have a terrible time getting exercise into my day.
but i won’t give up this battle.
i just keep hoping i will become a lover of exercise.



i have a thing for peppermint.
we are BFFs all the way.
so believe me when i say i have bought so many boxes of these k-cups from target it’s not even funny.
i am stockpiling them.
because they will be gone and i will have to go back to my second favorite flavor of coconut mocha in january.
what i am really craving is peppermint ice cream.
and i DID purchase Peppermint Mini Oreos this week because i plan to make a milkshake with peppermint ice cream AND the mini oreos at some point in the next week.
because it’s once a year and resistance is futile.



two weekends ago craig asked me if i wanted to hang up a new light?
that is like whispering sweet nothings in my ear.
so we pulled out the old, dusty, bent up chandelier i got at the barn forever ago, figured out if it still worked and he even took all the crystals off for me!
i cleaned it and painted it and then last weekend he hung it up!
and while he did that i sewed new curtains.
the black and white gingham fabric is by the yard at ikea.
i moved the curtains i had in the dining room into the kitchen.
that big straight lined pattern was SO EASY i said “i don’t ever want to sew anything without lines again!”


on IG people keep asking for a christmas home tour.
that’s a great idea but i am waiting for my cleaning lady to come and then i will take pictures.
she is the best part of my week.
pretty much every week.
in case you wondered… she cleans the kitchen, living/dining room, guest bath and my room/bathroom.
my kids still have to clean their own rooms, the family room and their shared bathroom.
skills they need in life.
i want them to learn to do the work.
because i still have to clean stuff everyday.  all kinds of things!
it feels like i never stop cleaning (you feel this way too right? please say yes!)
it’s NEVER ending.
i appreciate the professional cleaning help every week more than i can explain.


ok…. one last thing today.
christmas cards.
are you sending them?
i used to be a rock star at christmas cards.
but i am not any more.
so IF i was going to send a card it would be this one:

(this design was on MPIX)

but…. even though i am total slacker in the card mailing department… maybe you aren’t?
if you wanted to send me a christmas card i would be thrilled!
also we have moved twice in three years… so NO ONE knows our address anymore.
and i miss christmas cards!
so if you want to send me your christmas card…  send me a quick email at and i will give my address to you.
i really will.

(and i f you are thinking WHY would i ever send Meg a christmas card?? i get that and there is NO PRESSURE whatsoever to do this weirdo project.  just an idea that popped into my head. i know that not all my ideas are great:))

Amy - Your dining room is beautiful! It looks like the perfect place to have a cup of candy cane coffee. ;) I would love to send you a Christmas card. It is my favorite Christmas card to date because it is our first Christmas as a family of three. Yay!!!

Tracy - I’ve read your blog for a loooong time but don’t comment very often but I will definitely send you a Xmas card. You need Xmas cards in your mailbox!! We live in Kansas City and we’re Jayhawks, too :) Now you know me well enough to receive a Xmas card from me! Haha! Emailing you now.

Barbara (WA) - I totally get the “swoon”!! And the professional cleaning help. A year ago September our son got married in our back yard. For 6 weeks I had weekly cleaners while I worked outside – it was awesome! I have a broken wrist presently but can still dust, darn. And I did send photo cards but then, I can’t bake. or cook, or. . .

Necole@seriouslysassymama - Peppermint and I are BFFs also.

Julie - Love that chandelier and those curtains. I am hoping to get brave enough to make some in 2015, maybe gingham will be the way to go. Cleaning is never done, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to matter how many people are in the house either, the mess is still the same.
I too would love a Christmas tour of your house, always so interesting seeing how you decorate for a Northern hemisphere winter Christmas, while we have a Southern hemisphere summer one.

Jen - Just sent you and e-mail and will totally send you a card! I have contemplated not sending them, but decided to again this year. I am in love with peppermint, also. I love the taste and smell. I am actually drinking a cup of peppermint tea right now. Have a wonderful weekend, Meg!

Becky - I’m with on the whole price is right thing! I get totally choked up seeing anybody win anything! sappy people unite :)

Rachel Jeter - And now, you are going to receive approximately 743 Christmas Cards :) Remember a post on your blog from long ago, talking a little bit about your love Christmas Cards and how you would make Craig bring them home from work? Even his coworkers cards? Yeah, I remember that too. And yes, I do that too. I don’t know why I love them, I just do. May you have the merriest of Christmases with no Christmas Eve breakdowns Meg :)
And since I’m commenting, have you done Marta’s “Sugar Detox”?? I feel like you were doing that when I came to craft weekend in May, but I can’t fully remember. Did you love it? Would you do that again? I’m signing my hubby and I up for January. (Typing this while eating Christmas cookies.)

chrissi - your dining room…….the best! each detail is perfect. buffalo check in black and white, it just doesn’t get any better. merry christmas, enjoy each moment.

Gevay Piercefield - Trader Joe’s has peppermint hot chocolate and peppermint JoeJoes (their version of Oreos) , and my friend gave me Starbucks instant peppermint mocha latte packets today, and Dove makes peppermint chocolate squares and it seems I have a problem too! Sending you an email because I would like to send my peppermint loving buddy a card! Merry Christmas!

Heidi DeGroot - Random question–What kind of vacuum do you use and is it good for the dogs and the kids to clean up all the messes?

Lisa - I love the idea of scheduling appts in December and then taking the kids out to lunch and shop for their siblings! I am totally going to copy this next year. Such a great idea for alone time and help them have fun giving!

Becky Fouts - boy, am I glad you posted today!!! I read everything you write, and missed you this past week! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

jamie - i’m thinking about doing new year’s cards. they seem to be all the rage…

Vonda - Love peppermint lattes!!!! And your house is looking amazing-of course:) I’m thinking your mailman will have a huge santa bag of cards for you;)! Merry Christmas!

Jenn - Love the dining room curtains! That bold gingham grounds everything else in the room. Love! Now, about those Christmas cards. We, too, have moved a lot – four times in four years! I have simply given up. With all the moving no one can find us, and with all the moving I can’t find my address book. So we, too, are cardless this year. Which makes me happy to have your beautiful blog from which to wish you and your family and anyone reading this a very joyous, merry, blessed Christmas and a bright, happy, and healthy New Year! Thank you, Meg, for another year of sharing your thoughts and ideas with us through one of my all time favorite blogs to read. Merry Christmas!

Carol S. - Love that during this busy holiday period you can not post for a week. That is getting your priorities straight! Then a fun post that was worth the wait. Wonderful time with your kids, can’t get that back. Going slow over here and it’s just fine. With high schooler and college kid a lot of the pressure to create Christmas magic is gone, and I am totally cool with that. I’ve got 4 gifts for each of my two boys, and I’m pretty cool with that…really need one more each…hate for me to have purchased more gifts under tree for me than them! Chipotle gift cards may fill the ticket. Enjoy your blog. Merry Christmas Meg.

Flower Patch Farmgirl - 1) I did NOT know you and Peppermint are BFFs. What???! Guess what…me and peppermint are enemies. Go figure.
2) I love the dentist idea and one-on-one time. I always take all 3 at once and then we despair.
3) Do you have any idea how many good ideas you’ve given me over the years? Poodles. (That word is courtesy of my mom.)

Alicia @ Investing Love - Your posts are always so beautifully random, and I connect with that so much, that it always evokes in me a completely random comment back…so, here goes:
a. I love the productivity going on, light hanging, curtain sewing…perfect. And the green + black check combo is a TEN!

b. Sophia and Jack have recently become OBSESSED with the Price is Right. I’m like, really!?! Also, Let’s Make a Deal. I’m all, are y’all 86?? But they don’t care…they love it. And they want to go on it and win all the things.

c. I used to have a cleaning lady…when I had a house. I missed her more than my mother when we moved away to North Carolina. Really. She was a godsend. Now that we’re house shopping again I just really hope I can find another good lady. It’s such a lifesaver.

d. I am totally sending you a Christmas card. Totally.

Kerri Lynne - Several thoughts on this great post: 1) My dad was a teacher and you reminded me of when we watched game shows together over Christmas break – there were LOTS of game shows in those days. 2) IKEA has FABRIC? I still have not made it to the new one in KC, and it’s only an hour away… 3) I love sending/receiving Christmas cards, but will not be doing ours this year until after we return from a 10-day trip to Israel (leaving a few days after Christmas!). 4) Gorgeous chandelier! Oh, saw your son’s name on a list of 3A football honors – congratulations to him!

Kirsten J - Dude – what an epic blog post! It was like a good catchup over coffee with an old friend :)
Listen, I was at my PTA co-president’s house Thursday for our Board meeting/Christmas luncheon and she had so many cards on her mantle. I was a little jealous, because I’ve received maybe…6? And so I commented about it. Leslie says, “well, how many do you,send? I send out about 125-140″ ummmm…..let’s see….so far they aren’t even ordered, and so they’ll probably get picked up at Walgreens Tuesday morning and I’ll address them in the parking lot. Ugh. Maybe that’s why. And I couldn’t really whine about the PTA president job being so busy because she’s my co! AND she hosted the luncheon!!! But I’ll totally send you one – email coming.

Heather S. - Meg, I would LOVE to send you one of Christmas cards!!! I have one for you, truly I do. I will pop it in the mail when I have your address. :) Though we’ve never met, I love you like a BFF. :) We are sisters in the Lord & one day I will hang out with you. If not here, then in heaven FOR sure. You are a treasure on so many levels.

Tanya H - So, I am TOTALLY showing the paragraph about the cleaning lady to my 9yr old who, after flat out refusing to her weekly jobs today, and then threw a fit about having to do jobs before fun plans, snapped to her father and I that WE never do ANY jobs in the house EVER. Ahem. Are you KIDDING ME??? Sigh…

I too used to rock Christmas cards…but I have spent a good chunk of my day addressing and writing in cards and I’m wondering how worth it is, LOL. Its my favorite thing to get cards, so I should, oh…and its my business…lol, but between three dozen wrong addresses, and the fact that it’s 12/20…this is nuts!! :)

I also have to comment on The Price Is Right. :) My husband loved that show as a kid, and when my kids were tiny and he worked weird hours, he loved being home at that time random days, he’d commandeer PBS Kids or Nick Jr to watch that. My kids were never as entertained as he was, haha…

Anyway, good for you on the race…I keep hoping I will learn to enjoy working out too…I try, and I have to believe that’s good enough for today. Merry Christmas, if you don’t blog again before then! :)

angela - Sent you an email! Would love to send you a card!! P.S. I have eaten a bowl of peppermint ice cream every. single. night. since December 1. I will go in withdrawals on the 31st!

Linda Mullen - Hi Meg, been reading your blog for ages and have loved sharing it with my daughter (especially the art projects you do with your kiddos) over the years! Would love to send you a Christmas card….especially since I am just getting around to that and despairing that once again we’re sending non-photo versions, because really, the tree just got up and we’re looking for last minute gingerbread houses–your blog inspires me and I love your open heart! Best to you and your family!

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thursday morning thoughts.

i have been quiet… unintentionally.
just doing the mom thing over here.
staying in pajamas far too late everyday, decorating, christmas shopping, going to programs, ball games, getting groceries, etc.

this post may sound a little Stauart Smalley to you but some days it just has to be said.
Stuart or not.

i just wanted to tell you – in case you forgot for whatever reason today –


it does.
(i want to grab you by the shoulders and make you look into my teary eyes)

it does.  it does.  it does.

we all have our own.
we are ALL living different stories and we are ALL at different places.
none of us have got it all together.
none of us are THERE.
none of us have arrived.
if you think you are the only one – YOU ARE WRONG.

we are all messing up… messed up… broken people trying to get through a day without causing too much damage.

your story is your life.
and your story is important.
it’s important to you.  to your friends.  to your neighbors.  to your family.
Telling your story matters…. LIVING it out!  don’t hide your true self from your people.
They need you.

God knows all the details.
He knows how hard you are trying.
He knows how much you may be struggling.
He is right there with you.
You are never alone.
He makes you strong.

What if you don’t like the story you’re living?
pick something to change and make your story better!  It’s yours!
it won’t change everything but it will be a start.

what if you didn’t choose it for yourself but it’s happening to you anyway?
what if you feel broken and stuck?
what if you are exhausted in your story?

that is where the HOPE comes in.
hope is trusting that God has a plan that is bigger than the “right now”.
because your right now might be really tough – or boring – or sad.
what if this hard stuff is just a plot twist? the place where things get intense in the story?
and what comes out of that twist is something better than you could have dreamt up?
God has a plan that is good and loving (not easy).
we can trust in that hope to say “God i know you see me here and i know you love me.”

All of us have had days where we feel like losers.
or weeks.
or months.
but i KNOW that YOU are not a loser.
i know it for sure!
You were made to SHINE and you just need to get out and do it.
pick one thing to be shiny today.
be kind to someone.
make that phone call.
write that letter.
give a hug.
get out of bed.
go for a walk.
start a journal.
read something uplifting.
sing loud in your car.
give something – your time, your heart, your money, your words

it all intertwines… your hope, your love, your strength, your story.




Jack - I think I needed to hear this today! Thank you Meg.

Kelley - Thank you! I needed this today!! Getting to be a stay at home mom while my husband works his tail off to support us. Yet we are struggling to make ends meet and I am feeling so guilty for not working outside of the home. Was praying this morning about ways to bring in some income. Thankful for the reminder of hope and trust in our Lord and Savior. And the reminder to start doing something! Thank you! I admire you as a mom and wife and sister in Christ. I know you don’t have it all figured out, but it’s so nice to have a real role model who’s a few years ahead of me in this parenting game. Thank you.

Kara Byrne - Yep, yep, yep. Needed this today so much. Took the day off because my stress level of being supermom while working PT and husband working overnights has gotten to me. I need to hear the holy silence of the season…without the nagging requests drowning it. Thank you for writing what was on your heart as there are many of us out here that need to hear it. Merriest Christmas wishes to you!!!

Cindy - holy cow that was powerful! thanks so much for your encouraging and lovely words! they were moving!

Jan - Thank You, Meg, for sharing this today…it was just what my heart needed! Beautifully said. Waiting on the Lord teaches me so much about myself while trusting in his plan. “You take joy and suffering and make it an offering for Your glory.” Listening to the words of this song iver and over!

Jennifer - AMEN!!!! I needed to hear this. You are awesome and great too! Thank you, Meg…thank you!

Mickie - Somehow you knew this was just what I needed today. This was a morning where we ended up yelling at our son (because he wouldn’t get ready) and he ended up crying and “wishing he had a nicer family!” Sigh… It’s the most wonderful time of the year but can also be the busiest and most stressful. Thanks for the reminder that we can get back up after these moments and be forgiven.

Sarah - After feeling defeated and crying the entire way to drop my boys off at school today, then trudging into my office and letting the tears continue, I needed this. I needed to know I’m not alone, things aren’t as bad as they may have seemed this morning, and they WILL get better, I can do something to make that happen. Thank you Meg. The tears are back, but they’re tears of hope this time, not tears of sadness and pain.

Jessica - Such a beautiful post! Thank you so much! It’s is just what I needed to hear today

carissa fox - I love you.
your heart.
and I love that you share.
thank you friend for shining yOur light!
when I crank up the music in my car today… singing lOud…
shaking off my doubts & faults… I’ll do it extra loud… and think of you.
thank you!

Linda - thanks you for sharing this. I really needed to hear it.

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Love you. So much awesome truth here.

Skye - Thank you!

Rebekah Lyon - Loved this! Thank you. And (in the best possible way), right back ‘atcha!

Michelle - Amen! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the passage from Isaiah!

Vicki - And now I am weeping. Thanks for sharing this. Very timely for me.

Stevie - This = awesome and true. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Lisa - Thanks for writing this and sharing yourself so openly on your blog.

Kathy - You’re good enough.
You’re smart enough.
And doggoneit people like you!

Jenna - Wow, just wow. All of this. I needed to hear and be reminded of. Crying the ugly cry in my office right now. Thank you for posting this today.

marnie - There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love…if you could read their story.

I read that often and it’s true.

Lisa - You just communicated this so well! As I sit here praying off and on for a young couple at our church who are working so hard, doing everything they should and nothing seems to go their way. And yet they are still trusting Jesus to provide financially. And they continue to give. And they just had a 2nd baby and are so thankful. But the struggles can be so real. I want them to read this because I know it’s so hard on them right now. And I’ve been there when life seems too much but now being on the other side, I can see the strength and growth that happened during that hard time. And am so thankful for it now. Thanks for sharing your heart. Praying it touches those who need it badly right now!

Michelle Deckert Richmond - Thanks Meg….I did feel like I was the only one who doesn’t have it all together….thanks for keeping it real. And thanks for sharing “your story”….great post…a lot to think about. Michelle from Canada

Kara Byrne - Here’s my day… mommy mistakes and all…in a blogpost…

I promise it’s not spam. : )

Kathi - Thank you.

Bobbie - wow that was just what the doctor ordered. Rather I believe it was ordered by God. Thx

Victoria - Thanks! Needed these words today.

Valerie - Oh Meg, your words are amazing! They speak straight to my heart. Thank you for sharing them. Have a blessed day xx

michele m fry - Loved this and love your heart!! Need this t-shirt, I am a therapist and I tell people all day long how much their story matters, would love to wear to work as a reminder too :]

Kristin S - Thank you, Meg.

Andrea - Meg, thank you. You are so right…..It was good to read this today….. I wish I would have made the choice to be a stay at home mom despite the different lifestyle we would have had, but I will continue to make each day count with my children and let them know that despite working outside our home they are the most important thing to me….thank you….our stories are all important.

Lesley - Beautiful message, impeccably timed. Bless you Meg. xox

Jeanie - Thank you Meg. I really needed to hear this today.

Mignon Jones - Please share where you got that awesome shirt!

Ashley from Tennessee - AAAmmmmmen Sistah! Love that verse and have since high school.
We need a holiday home tour. It’s so fun decorating a new home for Christmas.
Hope you and your family are enjoying it!!!

jo guy - thankyou, needed to hear that today. xx

Karen - thanks!

heather m. - Thank YOU : ) ♥!
This is something we all need to hear- myself included. Thanks for sharing what God put on your heart- i didn’t know how much I needed to hear it. You have such a gift and I’m thankful for you and your wonderful blog! And “Be shiny today” shall be my new motto! LOL! Happy Friday Meg!

Kristen K. - Meg…thank you. Thank you for this ‘early’ Christmas present to my soul. ;-) I am sharing it with my 4 kiddos, too, because you so beautifully wrote what I struggle to tell them – and myself! I am so easily caught up in the tiny details of every day, hyper-focused on myself and my junk…and I forget to see myself and life from God’s perspective. His love is enough! And it doesn’t mean life is perfect..some days, the grace given is just barely enough to move forward…but it’s enough. Next week marks the 5th ‘anniversary’ of my beloved mom’s sudden death, and I’m still devastated somewhere deep down. So many days, I just NEED my mom. You know? So today, I will let the tears flow when they must, and I will purpose to praise God – who carries me and loves me – through it all. So thankful for you, and for your heart! xo

Fabulous Friday Flashes…of Inspiration | - […] Now hear this: What Meg Duerksen thinks of you.  […]

Diane - Wow. So needed to read your post this morning! THANK YOU!!! Felt like it was written just for me. :-) YOU are such and INSPIRATION!!!

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope you have a wonderful and blessed holiday season!!

Barbara (WA) - It is SO hard to believe this is true. Is it?

karen - Wow, thanks Meg, went straight to my heart, really needed it today….

Kimberly Dial - Thank you Meg. That was beautiful. Merry Christmas!

Ann - I know you are right. But I just don’t feel it. And I am so tired.

Linda - Wonderful post. You always make me stop and think. I love the shirt. Where did you get it?- linda

Carol S. - I first read you were getting “gorgeous” not groceries, lol. I liked that! This sweet post is so much better than one more Christmas decoration perfection post, but I like those too. I’m sharing this with a friend who is sick and down. Thank you Meg for this thoughtful post. I love your kind heart.

Jenn @ EngineerMommy - Love this post. Full of inspirational, thought-provoking ideas!

Rachel - I really needed this today! It really touched my heart and helped me just let some things go! By the way, where did you get your scarf? I think I NEED it!

Tammy - Tears are flowing down my face….going through a difficult time in my life.
SO needed to hear these words tonight. Thank you Meg for taking the time to write this strong and heartfelt message. I know that our loving Father will carry me when I fall, but your post really hit home tonight and I am grateful for it.

Lori - I needed to hear this….thank you.

Louisa - Thank you. I SO needed this today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Erin - Where did you get your “Your story matters” t-shirt…love it….

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my usual random thoughts…

i have ideas for my day.

1. workout as soon as i finish writing this blog post.

2. clean my bedroom – put away my laundry

3. put away all things NON christmas on surfaces to make room for christmas decor

4. go to store for dog food

isn’t that the most exciting morning????

but the likelihood i accomplish these things without writing it down is slim to none.
so now it’s official.

this is as far as I’ve gotten with decorating.
but there is potential there.


i made a new soup for dinner last night!
Cheeseburger Soup!
all of my kids ate it AND said it was good.


Do you do an Advent study?

i never have.
i’ll be honest here…
i’ve gone to church my whole life and to me advent was something that pastors or really churchy people did…. lighting the candles… the pretty (and seemingly perfect) families get asked to come up on stage to read from the bible… OR it was something that those really spiritual moms did with their kids… OR it was another elaborate thing to set up for your kids with 25 different ideas or projects or things to buy.
so with all that i have just never been an Advent girl.
i did do the advent calendar candy thing & some of my kids stole the candy for the days ahead!

but i felt stirred this year and thought “i wonder what advent might look like to ME… without all the baggage i’ve put on it.”
that thought came to me on Nov. 30.
of course.
too late to order a book or set anything up.
i asked a friend if she was doing anything for herself for advent.
she was going to use She Reads Truth’s Advent plan.
it’s a blog but She Reads Truth is also a free App for your phone!
i follow them on IG but i didn’t have the app… so i got it.
and i bought the $1.99 advent plan.
and i’m reading it.
because i always have my phone.
but the blog is even easier!

so… if you have ever thought any of those thoughts like i had about advent maybe you’d like it too?
it’s short too.
you won’t be too far behind to start now.  :)



right now at this very second my Pandora is freaking out and playing two songs at the same time?!!?



 am totally loving this photo.
all of it.
the curtains, the lamps, the canvas, the light fixture.
i want basically everything in Lindsay’s shop.


scott has his first basketball game of the season tonight.
it feels like he JUST played in the state championship game like last week?!!
time is such a sucky jerk.

but… he is excited and we are excited.
talby and sean have been playing for several weeks already.
i love it.  i love going.  i love watching them get better!
and they love it too!
it’s so cool!

and here’s a funny fact: i don’t own a single team sports related clothing item.
i don’t have so much as a t-shirt that says our team.
i just can’t do it.
i can’t see myself in a sports shirt… ever!
maybe it was all those years of wearing a cheerleading uniform?
i don’t know.
but i go and watch!  i just don’t wear the gear.


i think i would lose my mind as a window designer BUT i am in love with window designing.
having a job where you could say “i am thinking of hanging 2300 paper plates with string from the roof” and no one even bat an eye… that job has got to be THE BEST!

i imagine if this was my job that it would go down like this:

“i am going to pour paint down the front window of our leased store space… ok?”
“Why wouldn’t you? It sounds brilliant! here are 4 employees to help you accomplish this easy idea you have!”

then the next month:

“i ordered 10,000 clothespins and 50 pounds of dye. i’m going to hang all 10,000 clothes pins from string above your head at the registers. But don’t touch it or they may fall on you and you could die by the weight of all the pins”

“No problem.  are you sure 10,000 will be enough?”

ha ha ha

seriously though… a job where you can dream up crazy beautiful huge displays?
it sounds exhausting and awesome.
exhausting because there is always a new window to be done which means the ideas can never stop and the billion hours every window would take.
(i mean i can’t even get my christmas decorations out of the boxes!)
awesome because you can do anything!
and it’s on such a huge scale that it makes a big impact.
i know anthropologie’s windows make everyone happy.
because that is the point!

anthro is a crazy place that sucks me in with their 10,000 clothespins and folded cardboard hanging from the ceiling but where i never actually purchase anything because i can’t bring myself to fork over the money.
but i love being in there.
i am there for the art.  :)


ok i guess it’s time for #1 on my list way up there….

i want to skip it all and go purchase stocking stuffers instead.
but… i won’t.
i hope.

Rachel - I am pretty sure that no matter what it is, as long as it is in rainbow colors, you can make it look fabulous hanging on a wall. Plates, clothes pins, scraps of fabric, you name it, rainbow colors make it look cohesive and purposeful and beautiful.

patty - Oh yes the Anthro….. love looking, touching, overwhelmed at how much everything costs and then not buying anything and leaving. : D

I actually once took a silver tray off the wall to see how they hung them (hot glue and a paper clip! Brilliant!), and currently have supplies ready to go on the work bench to copy a horse shoe and wood plate display! Aaagh! Love it.

tiffany day - You are funny, I mean that in a good way! ;)

I feel the same about Advent – and honestly dont really know as much about it as I should!

And I want to marry Anthropologie!!!

The only team related thing I had when my kids played sports was a red jacket when I my son played little league and was on the “Angeles” I so feel you about sports stuff!

Have fun decorating – I plan to finish up tomorrow!!

Have a great weekend!

Tracie M. - One of my college friends decorates Anthropologie windows in Manhattan. It is amazing the amount of hours she puts into it, but they are incredible.

Heather S. - Went to the Festival of Trees today. Saw a rainbow tree. Thought of you. That’s all I have today.

Alexandra H. - Considering what a visual person you are, I thought you might also enjoy this Advent Project done by the Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts at my Alma Mater (Biola University):

Secondly, you may already know about Kara Paslay, but she used to design all those Anthro windows in Tulsa. You can see some of her displays here:

Hope you enjoy these treats!

Michelle from Australia - We leave in 8 days for our family biennial USA adventure. I am very much looking forwards to seeing store (we’d call them shop windows) decorated for Christmas and loads and loads of Christmas lights.

Patty - OmiGoodnessGracious! I had everything in the house for Cheeseburger Soup, made it for dinner and my husband who does NOT believe that soup is a meal for dinner — APPROVES! It was so yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

Greta Sutherland - They’re not random thoughts, they’re straight out of my head.

So glad I bumped into you recently in this odd little blogging neighborhood. You’ve been a pleasure to follow…


Patricia McClure - First, I love your blog. Second, this is my first year of doing an Advent study, so you totally spoke JUST to me with this one. I was lucky cuz on November 30, at church, someone was selling the book “All I Really Want” by Quinn G Caldwell and wanted to start a study group. Perfect timing, I was wanting and what I needed appeared. It is sooo good. If you ever have a chance to look Quinn or the book up, I recommend both.
I better get coffee going. My lists won’t cross themselves off. Today we will get a tree! ( it is written, therefore has to happen

Mindy - I think you would be a great window display artist with all your fun colors. Your Christmas decorations look so cheery. And the Lindsay’s Letters photo – beautiful.

Angela - Come on girl, get in the spirit! Year round I look at your Christmas posts for inspiration, yours are my favorite, the BEST…ever. I know it’s a lot of work but I bet your girls would help you with most of it. I always think about that saying, “the days are long and the years are short” and then I realized one day I won’t have all these wonderful, bratty, children living with me. Even if you only did a quarter of what you used to do it would be fabulous! Merry Christmas Megan!

Jenny B. - Lovely fun pictures! :) We scaled back the Christmas decor this year. As I sent my husband up to the attic, I gave him a list of what to LEAVE up there. Ha. It still looks festive, and the kids are happy. So, I’m happy. Oh, and then when my husband came back in, he said, I just realized I forgot to pay our property taxes, so I think your car tags are expired. I said, but I remember putting the stickers on not too long ago. Yeah… that was a year ago. Time is crazy!

Beth Ann - Is it weird that your admitting that you have never made a purchase at anthro made my day? I really enjoy window shopping at the store, but I am too frugal to buy anything. Beautiful items and displays tho! I remember when I was in college (paying my own way, but no baby or husband) I would go shopping on the clearance racks (but only when the clearance items were on clearance – ha!) and say to myself “I can’t wait until I make good money so I can buy whatever I want!” And now that I make good money the frugal-gene in me still shops the clearance racks and rarely buys anything unless it is on sale!

Lucy - I always like the idea of doing advent, but it takes up time and thought. This year I bought Ann Voskamp’s advent book. The pictures and the words are beautiful. Makes me teary when I read them. My children are too little, but my hope is to just read this every year and maybe do some of the suggested ideas in the future.

Kelly - hahaha. I had to laugh about the team gear. over all of the years and all of the different sports my kids have played i have never worn a team anything. i find them kinda repulsive. but i always make sure i have clothes in my wardrobe that are team colors so i can support them but still be fashionable ;)

Karina - I just have to say…When I was little my plan was to grow up and become a window dresser. lol…I used to decorate each shelf in my bookcase to be a miniature window. I thought that was a great career ambition! Also…I love Anthropologie but have only bought one thing from there because it is really not in my budget. But I visit the web site for the art…just like you said. So cool.

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Project Hunger

i was asked by Unilever & SheKnows Hatch to share some words about hunger in our communities. i watched their videos and looked through their websites and i was immediately aware of how uninvolved my family was.

please watch:

i have so many intentions of helping but life is busy.
i have a busy family life… my husband and i both work… our kids are in activities everyday… we have so many things to do…. does this sound familiar?
as i watched those videos or stop & think for just five minutes about hunger in my community, it breaks my heart.
no matter how “busy” i am i know that i need to take action… and so do you.
but WHERE do we start?  WHO do we ask?  WHAT is the need?

i started simple.
i texted my friends….”hey… i am writing a post about local hunger/poverty, ways to help out, getting involved and talking to our children about those issues… any suggestions?”
i loved hearing their thoughts!
they had all kinds of suggestions of kindness that weren’t just hunger focused:

– run in a race that supports a good cause
– donate to the Angel Tree throughout the Salvation Army at christmas
– pay for the family behind you at the drive through
– join an organization called Circles, USA
– bring a dish to a community meal
– volunteer at a homeless shelter
– have a simple meal of rice & donate the money you would’ve spent on your meal to a food bank.
– leave a treat for your mail man
– visit elderly neighbors
– talk to the new kids at school
– invite people over who may not have a place for the holidays
– “adopt a family”  for the holidays by giving a meal or gifts
– donate food and gifts to your community center
– donate to the food bank (food or money)
– volunteer at the food bank
– join meals on wheels
– volunteer or donate to your local clothes closet
– call the local schools and ask how to help

doesn’t that list just get you excited?!!

i had never been to our county food bank.
and i will be honest… i just never put much thought into it.
i didn’t even know where it was.
i called and asked all kinds of questions.
and the bottom line of our conversation was “just do something”

so we did.
i talked with annie about what a food bank was and why we have one.
i asked her to come shopping with me for items we could donate.
we talked about what it might be like to not have any food or enough food for a thanksgiving dinner.
But then we decided to get foods that someone could make a thanksgiving meal with.
i had her write a list for the store.  :)
we also added other items that seemed like a good idea not thanksgiving related.

we each got a cart and i let her do all the shopping for her list.

annie mentioned several times “this one is on sale”.
i loved seeing her take notice of that.

we asked our store to bag her groceries separately and
then we drove it straight from the store over to the food bank.

it was easy.
but you don’t have to shop!  You can donate food right out of your own pantry.

my encouragement to you is:  just do something!

Call the organizations in your community and say “what do you need and how can i help”

get involved.

Project Sunlight and Project Hatch are working on the fight against child hunger right now.
they gave great suggestions on how to get started if you feel a little stuck.

go to the Project Sunlight website to learn about all of these options.


About SheKnows’ Hatch, the Hatch Hunger Project and Unilever Project Sunlight:

SheKnows’ Hatch teamed with Unilever Project Sunlight to help families build awareness and take action around child hunger in America. The facts are startling: 16 million kids living in the United States don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That equates to one in every five children – enough to fill 18,000 school buses and 223 football stadiums. On average, those who live in food-insecure households have only $36.50 to spend on groceries every week. That means that 80 percent of children may not understand the everyday struggle their peers – many of whom could be their own friends or neighbors – confront when there’s not enough food on the table. The Hatch Hunger and Project Sunlight video and workshop aims to create empathy by showing kids what it means to shop for healthy, filling meals for an entire week on a thrifty budget. It teaches important math and teamwork skills. Finally, it is about action, empowering kids to have a positive impact on their community to Share A Meal with a family in need and donating food and canned goods to local food banks.


will you share with me ways that YOU are already involved in your communities?
i would LOVE more ideas of ways to help!
every little thing adds up to a lot of BIG things when we are stepping up in kindness.

Michelle - Doesn’t have to be big to make an impact….if you haven’t seen it, check out Matthew West’s song “Do Something”. They showed it at our church last weekend and it was pretty awesome!

Gevay - It’s so easy to think of this as a problem that is far away, but it’s right here in our own communities. My boys and I volunteered at a local food bank before Thanksgiving, sorting their donations with our home-school group. My older son has chosen to give his “something you need” gift during our advent celebration to Feeding America. My younger son chose Blood Water.

JulianneB - Thanks for sharing. The video is so good. My 10 year old daughter and I have had a lot of discussions about this lately. This week her school is collecting food to give to 116 children in her own school. They are collecting specifically so they can have food over Christmas break to eat. Before we moved to a different town, we used to help with Blessings in a Backpack. I always want her to be aware of the needs around her.

Sarah - Our community has a project called Packing Friendship. This started when a teacher sent a grocery bag home with a student for food over the weekend. Otherwise, they would not have had food outside of school. Now, I think they send out a couple hundred bags of food on the weekends. Numerous local churches collect specific foods that can be used. Pretty awesome.

Kelly - and that’s why I adore you… You make me want to be creative, but you also give us thoughts on a creative heart too. I just looked up a number to a lcoal church that has a food bank and going to contact them on what I can do to help out. Hugs to you~Kelly

Stephanie - We always give to the Post Office’s food drive when they ask. I agree with you that we could do more. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in my own big family that I forget to minister to others more than I do. One thing I LOVE that our small town does is a community garden. That is such a productive way to feed people. It’s the “teach a man to fish” concept.

JL - Our small Jr/Sr High School holds a “Can the Teacher” event on the last day of school before Thanksgiving break. The students bring canned goods and other items…the school weighs the items and for every so many pounds donated, a teacher’s door is “canned”, meaning they can’t teach that day. As you can imagine, the students get really involved and gather enough items that they’ve succeeded in “canning” all the teachers the last several years. Since it’s a day they probably wouldn’t do much anyway…it’s a win-win!!

jeannie - Our family did the same last year at Thanksgiving and made the decision to also volunteer once a month. Even someone as young as Annie is able to help at our local food bank, and your bunch would fill a whole shift. I enjoyed this post. I agree it is hard to fit in more commitments, but this once a month commitment is always positive and always a win-win. My kids enjoy working with the clients that come in and definitely enjoy helping in a personal way! May your Christmas be merry, but especially blessed!

Amanda - This is awesome!

Ginny - This is such a great blog post and real tangible ideas for people to do and ways for kids to get involved. I just love it!

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Love this – just do something :)

colleen - Annual pre-thanksgiving competition at my kids middle school- each class brought in a specific type of canned food or nonperishable item to make a whole celebratory meal when put together -then the teacher made it interesting by offering country cow (a local deli) egg sandwiches for breakfast for the whole class if their class brought in the highest number of food items, My daughter’s class won and she alone donated 14 cans of peas which we also shopped for together- can only imagine what the total number of cans from her homeroom was!

molly - my church is very involved in fighting hunger in our community and the surrounding area. we have sack sunday every month were we are urged to bring in a sack of food items to donate to our local food pantry. we also have an agape garden where an amazing amount of produce is grown to be given to the food bank. it is just amazing to see what they grow and give away. and finally one of the most touching programs is called backpack buddies. during the week bags of food items are packed and then on fridays are delivered into the backpacks of children who would likely go without meals over the weekend. it is an amazing program that gets food into the hands of children who really need it.

jodi - our church partners with the Salvation Army or other local food bank every year to do a Thanksgiving turkey drive, and sometimes at other times throughout the year we help stock a food pantry as well.

Our kids go to Awana at a church just down the road from where we live, and my favorite is that they ask the kids several times a year to bring cans and/or peanut butter to help stock their food pantry. Because they’re directly asking and talking to the kids about it, it really helps get them involved and gives us things to talk about. I love it!

kare - I lead a guild which makes blankets for pediatric hospital patients called “Katie’s Comforters Guild” at Seattle Children’s Hospital. We don’t raise funds; we raise new quilts and blankets, made of new cotton, fleece or yarn, to bring comfort to patients. We support pediatric cancer research through the Katie Gerstenberger Endowment, whose funds support the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and The Ben Towne Foundation. We are #strongagainstcancer (with Russell Wilson, as you may have seen during half-time of the Seahawks’ game on Thanksgiving day)! Thank you for asking, Meg! Blessings to you!

Michelle - I take $20 from every paycheck and shop for my community food pantry. I alternate food one week, toiletries the next week.

Call and ask your food pantry exactly what they need. Mine has enough peanut butter and dried pasta to last through the apocalypse, but is always in need of paper towels and toilet paper (things you can’t buy with SNAP). Paper towels may sound like an unnecessary luxury, but when you have to choose between buying food or doing your laundry at a laundromat, not having to wash kitchen towels or cleaning rags can mean one less load of laundry and a little more food in the shopping cart.

Kathleen W. - My kids and I just went and helped to fill bags with food for our schools backpack program, Falcon Pack. It was a great experience for my kids to realize that not everyone has enough food to eat over the weekend and that these backpacks provide meals on the days kids aren’t at school. We plan to go and help again. On another note, my son’s Cub Scout pack is having a baked goods auction next week. The scout families donate baked goods, auctioneers volunteer their time and we raise money for the elementary schools “Warm and Fuzzy Fund”. The money helps families in our school to provide Christmas for their kids. Great post Meg !

Flower Patch Farmgirl - You know I love this.

stacey - We volunteer at a local toy drive where parents come get toys for their kids because they cannot afford to buy presents for them. The toys are donated and all new.

Erin Ussery - Loved this post! Thank you for sharing about your trip to the food bank with Annie. It’s so cool when our kids get into giving back!

Our church Life Group was challenged to complete a service project in the Spring. We spoke to a local school social worker who pointed us in the direction of school uniforms. In our town, the public schools have uniforms (basic pants and different colored shirts for each school), which is great! When you can afford them. So we hosted a two week fundraising drive and raised enough for 244 shirts, 170 pairs of shorts and over 50 packs of underwear! So in the summer we decided to file as a nonprofit in our state and go BIG. We named our group Lowcountry Dress for Success. This Fall we completed our second drive which raised $16,549 in THREE WEEKS! How it works: People donate online or by check in the mail (the Flinstone method), we partner with local social workers in the school who tell us what sizes and colors they want, we order it, pay for it, and deliver them to the schools for the social workers to deliver them as they see fit. God has provided in amazing ways! It has been awesome to see our community come together to take care of its own. We started our third drive this week called the HO-HO-HOodie Campaign. $15 purchases a full zip fleece hoodie that adheres to the school dress code and will keep a child warm this Winter. Feel free to read more about it at
Can’t wait to read about what others are doing! This is awesome!

patty - I am a 4-H leader. About 10 years ago our State 4-H project was called Massachusetts 4-H cares about the community – and we were charged with doing something to donate food to a food bank. Some clubs fundraised, put tubs to collect food at local grocery stores. Our club (the kids) raised money during the year and chose to spend $500 doing something, so we decided lets just split up the money and take the kids shopping.

This is our clubs FAVORITE field trip each year. No one misses it, even on a busy Thursday night. We give each kid $30-$50 dollars in an envelope, and send them off in groups of 2-4, and tell them to purchase things that if their family had to go to the food bank, they would want to choose.

It is FASCINATING to see how they arrive at what to buy. Some groups use a calculator to budget and buy store brand. Some buy healthy food. Some buy Starbucks coffee and cheese doodles because even at a food pantry there should be some specials (the teens ; )). Afterwards we weigh it and divide it to be delivered to towns that our members come from — the go for pizza where we talk about how they chose things and methods of budgeting and shopping.

This year a family from our county lost their home to fire and were starting over so we chose to donate to filling their cupboards. The kids sent 496 lbs. of food to this family who then decided to split it with another family whose house burned down on the same night.

Sorry for being so wordy, but honestly this is the most fulfilling community service project — it is so REAL to the kids and shows them that helping someone else can be thoughtful, fulfilling and most of all a FUN thing to do with their friends and family for their community. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy holidays to you all ; )

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